Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Jia you! Jia you!

No child's play: Chan Peng Soon hopes to make his kid proud at the World Championships.
No child's play: Chan Peng Soon hopes to make his kid proud at the World Championships.
KUALA LUMPUR: “That’s daddy ... Jia you, Jia you (go for it).”

Those were the first few words that two-year-old plus Milton Chan Teng Yee uttered when he saw his father – and the country’s top mixed doubles shuttler – Chan Peng Soon in action on television recently.

“He recognises me on TV now and even cheers for me. Hopefully, I’ll give him more reasons to celebrate when I perform in the World Championships,” said Peng Soon.

“He was just a few months old when I competed at the last World Championships (in Wembley in 2011). Fortunately he was oblivious to my poor showing then! But now that I know he’ll be cheering me on, I intend to do my best.”

World No. 5 Peng Soon and his partner Goh Liu Ying will be taking part in their fourth world meet in Guangzhou from Aug 5-11. They have failed to reach the quarter-finals in the last three editions.

In Hyderabad, India, in 2009, they lost in the first round. In 2010 in Paris, they lost in the second round. In 2011, they were sent packing in the third round.

“The good news is that we have been progressing in every world meet,” he quipped. “Hopefully, we’ll make at least the quarter-finals this time. Our goal is to make the top four and assure a medal for the country.”

The 25-year-old Peng Soon expects the mixed doubles to be one of the most evenly contested events.

The top four pairs ranked ahead of them – China’s Xu Chen-Ma Jin and Zhang Nan-Zhao Yunlei; Indonesia’s Ahmad Tantowi-Lilyana Natsir; and Denmark’s Joachim Fischer Nielsen-Christinna Pedersen – are the red-hot favourites to make the semi-finals.

“Liu Ying and I need to have a strong heart and mind when we are on court.”

He better be if he wants to make his son proud


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